Hg2 : The Hedonist

Pera Museum

Housed in a mansion row near the Pera Palace Hotel (which includes the Istanbul Culinary Institute and the Italian Cultural Centre), the Pera Museum brings classic and contemporary art to the masses. The first two floors are based around solid permanent exhibitions, including Portraits from the Empire, a pictorial history of Istanbul that illustrates how the city’s splendour grew from rococo wooden palaces within the city walls to meaty mansions up and down the Bosphorus. The exhibition’s most famous piece, The Tortoise Trainer, lies incongruous as a portrait as opposed to a landscape canvas. This endearing painting is the work of Osman Hamdi Bey, who set up Istanbul’s Archaeological Museum to house relics pulled in from across the Empire as the Ottoman era slowly collapsed at the end of the 19th-century. The top two floors are dedicated to temporary shows with a timeless twist – nothing too edgy here. Recent exhibitions have taken in the work of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Fernando Botero, Marc Chagall and the engravings of Pablo Picasso. The museum’s ability to haul in such wonderful works is in no doubt thanks to the patronage of the Suna and Inan Kiraç Foundation. Suna Kiraç is ranked as one of Turkey’s wealthiest individuals and is an ardent philanthropist as well as chairwoman of the Koç Group, the country’s largest conglomerate. 

Merutiyet Caddesi 65,
+90 212 334 9900
Opening Times
noon-7pm (6pm Sun). Closed Mondays.
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